Comments: This darn book is darn hard to put down, darn it!
(Did we sound a little like Alton Brown there? We were totally trying to! But now we're exhausted, so we'll go back to sounding like, well, whatever we usually sound like….)
This book is the first volume of two that are intended to chronicle every episode of the Food Network's Good Eats program, conceived, written, directed, and hosted by Mr. Brown. Every three or four or five pages of the book incorporates one episode of the show, which began in 1999 and continues to the present day.
There is tons of good information, and tons and tons (and tons) of words. Yet it does not get tedious. On several consecutive evenings, we were ready to go to bed, but each time we got to the end of a section, we'd promise to read just one more – and an hour and a half later, we were still reading. It helps that each segment is only a few pages. In addition to the recipes, there are explanations of techniques, lots of food-science information, and more than a little food trivia.
While there are more than 1,000 photos, few of them are really of a finished dish. They're production photos, Alton Brown, scenery, Alton Brown, ingredients, Alton Brown, etc. Do we have other biting comments? Oh yes we do. The footnotes, which are actually interesting in this book, are in really tiny print, and not always as easy to find as you would like. In other places the ink color is hard to read. An element we do not care for is mixing measurements, like calling for 2 ounces of sugar plus 1 teaspoon. We understand in baking there are times to be fussy and times where you can relax, but it looks silly to be fussy and not fussy in the same recipe, on the same page.
Do you have to be a fan – or even a viewer – of Good Eats to enjoy this book? Apparently not. We have one staff member who claims to not care for the show (gasp!), yet we had a hard time getting the book back.
At the other end of the scale (for the truly obsessed fan), the book cover comes off and unfolds to become a poster-sized image of the front cover (but even the most talented framer is never going to get rid of those fold marks…).